Updated: Jul 5, 2019
I have been working very hard to get everything put together in the office and get ready to rock and roll with the kids. I have been spending some time really thinking about how to make the RST social media presence valuable to you, this was stumping me for quite a while. A light went off, after I launched RST, when a few people reached out with questions regarding my practice, and speech therapy as a whole.
I am excited to introduce a question and answer series, once a week I will be answering your questions! When answering these questions we have to keep in mind that therapy like this really requires knowing the circumstances with the child and the family, however, I will be answering these the best of my abilities to broadly explain the concepts and treatments.
Here are this weeks questions!
What can I expect out of an initial evaluation?
The main thing I look for in an initial evaluation are possible red flags of a communication problem. During an evaluation, I would sit down with you and hear your concerns; what brought you in; what things you are seeing at home. I would also observe the child’s language skills during play, there are assessments that are play-based that help elicit language and compare to where children is typically at the same age. However, little ones can be shy and are more likely to use language with people they are comfortable with so it’s likely I may just sit back and observe their language skills while they are playing with you. The whole process should take about an hour to an hour and half. The next step would be scheduling a follow-up appointment to discuss findings and possible treatment plan if necessary.
What type of goals do you set for the therapy, how do you know if they are being achieved.
I always like to create achievable goals for my students and use data to track progress toward their goal. Goals vary and are unique toward the student’s communication goal and what stage they are at in achieving their goal. If your child is two years old and not saying their first word yet, their final goal may be to use 50 words. There are stepping stones between day one and completion of the goal, the steps that lead to the goal could be using one word, then 10 words and so on. Each one of these steps would have timeline, and our timeline would be set by where the child is starting, whether they are already communicating in their own way, and how often they are coming to therapy. These timelines could be anywhere from 3 months to 1 year. Once your child reaching that goal we would re-evaluate where they are at and if they have reached the milestone for their age.
What role does a family play in the therapy?
Family plays a HUGE role in speech therapy. I’m a big believer in the naturalistic approach in speech therapy and the best way to achieve this is to involve parents/family in speech therapy. What I like to do is work with parents/caregivers to help them integrate language enhancing strategies into their everyday routines, by teaching the caregivers tools and techniques that are still fun for the kids, but help them reach their goals. While parents are not always able to be there for therapy, I would like to sit down with the parents once a month to go over where we are at in the goals, and how the family can help enhance the therapies in the home. Making sure that the home is a place that encourages proper language and speech is very important to me, and I strive to help the family understand what their role in that is, because it is a vital role.
Don't forget to send me your questions! @rockfordspeech